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Currency

I live in Sweden, and therefore any quoted prices for musical or other equipment will be in my local currency, which is SEK, or Swedish crowns (also abbreviated “kr” for “krona”). Long story short: just drop a zero for a rough conversion into US dollars, euros or pounds sterling. If you want the more in-depth story, read on.

The exchange rate has tended to orbit around the following values in the past few years:

1 SEK = 15 cents (US), 9.5 pence (UK) or 11 cents (Euro).

Or the other way around: USD = 6.50 kr, GBP = 10.50 kr, EUR = 9 kr.

The trick is that exchange rate and purchasing power are not the same thing, because of general cost levels, median wages and so on. When I check prices over the Internet, I find that the actual USD-SEK equivalency is about 1:10. The EUR-SEK equivalency is also thereabouts, and the GBP-SEK equivalency roughly 1:12. A guitar that costs 10000 kr here tends to be about 1000 dollars. Similarly, in Europe, it tends to be 900 pounds and 1000 euros.

In practice, this means that as soon as the exchange rate drops below 10 crowns for the dollar, 12 crowns for the pound and 10 crowns for the euro, attractive deals start popping up for us tourists. Conversely, it makes no sense whatsoever for Americans visiting Europe to look for deals for US-made instruments, not only because of the logistics issue, but also since the exchange rate makes everything here about 50% more expensive than in the US.

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